Professional storyteller Will Hornyak grabbed the attention of every kid in the room during a recent presentation at Union Ridge Elementary school as he hopped, flapped and crowed on stage during a story about the one-eyed, one-winged, one-legged chicken, Medio Pollito. The story of Medio Pollito helped Hornyak teach students at Union Ridge Elementary to be more aware of the environment.
The program was a part of a Clark County Green Schools program aimed to educate students on sustainability. Instead of stern warnings of impending doom, Hornyak’s envrironmental messages came wrapped in fun and accessible package. The interactive story about Medio Pollito had costumes, audience participation, call and response and much more. Even small changes add up to a big difference, Hornyak told them at the presentation — like the food composting and recycling students were already doing in the cafeteria.
Rather than throwing everything away at the end of a meal, students in the Ridgefield School District divide waste into compostable food, recyclable products and trash. According to the news release, the action of choosing what bin to put their post-meal waste into is second nature to students in the district. According to the release, across Clark County, schools recycle 2 million pounds of material each year with 1.6 million pounds going to compost.
The story of the chicken gave more ways for students to help. As the little chicken hopped across the kingdom to meet the king, he planted trees to shelter the stream and picked up garbage.
Hornyak told the students how they could help the environment like Medio Pollito: planting trees, throwing away trash, recycling, composting, washing things with less soap, reusing items and even picking up dog poop.